"Gandan Monastery perches on..." Lhasa Favorite Tip by ErnieGal

Lhasa General: 53 reviews and 62 photos


Favorite thing: <font color=red> <b>Gandan Monastery </font> </b> perches on the top of Mount Wanrigu, 60 kms east of Lhasa, at an altitude of 3800m. It was founded in 1409 by Tsong Khapa, the originator of the Gelukpa, or Yellow Hat, sect. As the abbot of Gandan, Tsong Khapa preached Buddhism and wrote many books here. Gandan covers an enormous area, as building continued for generations. It is one of the three principle Gelukpa monasteries in the Lhasa district. Gandan consists of many temples and other buildings. The 'Cuoqin Vihara' has 108 pillars and is large enough to house 3500 monks at one time. It contains the beautiful and skillfully carved bronze statues of maitreya and Tsong Khapa. The throne of Tsong Khapa plus his collection of Tibetan status can also be found there. The 'Chituokhan Buddhist Temple' is one of the earliest buildings of Gandan, and this is where Tsong Khapa and successive Gandan abbots lived. The7th Dalai Lama added an ornate golden pinnacle to the building. The temple contains many Buddhist Sutras, ancient coeds and other personal belongings of Tsong Khapa. The 'Yanbajian Hall' is a large four-storey building with 72 pillars. Building began in 1409' and finished in 1416. A golden pinnacle was added to the hall in 1610 by the 4th Panchen Lama. The outside garden contains the stupas of successive abbots. Inside the hall is a suit of armour belonging to Chinese Emperor Qian Long, who presented it to Gandan in 1757. It is one of Gandan's highly-prized treasures. The suit bears an inscription, written in Han, Manchu, Mongol and Tibetan, showing the Qing Emperor's respect of the Buddha. 'Shidoukhan Palace' contains the stupa of Tsong Khapa, and marks the place where he hied in October 251419. The following year Dama Rergin, a disciple of Tsong Khapa, built a silver stupa in his honour. In later years, the 13th Dalai Lama rebuilt this stupa in gold. Gandan is also listed as one of Tibet's cultural relics, under the Special funds are now provided by the state for its reconstruction.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Aug 24, 2002
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Espirit de Crop”

Online Now


Ranked Member
Member Rank:
1 3 2 4 0

Have you been to Lhasa?

  Share Your Travels